Sydney, 17 August 2015: After logging more than five weeks of touring Australia’s Eastern sea board, the world’s leading twin-engine helicopter in its class, the Airbus Helicopters H145, has successfully completed its Australian visit and is now heading home
The H145 arrived in Australia in mid-June as part of a global tour and over five weeks was demonstrated to a wide cross-section of current and potential Airbus Helicopters customers. One of the many highlights of the tour was a visit to the Great Barrier Reef off Mackay.
Ports of call included Sydney, Brisbane, Oakey, Mackay, Townsville, Melbourne and Canberra, where representatives of local hospitals, surf life-saving bodies, government agencies and private operators displayed keen interest in the visit of this classic example of advanced rotary-wing technology. The helicopter flew more than 50 hours whilst in Australia, all with the support of only one flight engineer – a strong endorsement of the H145’s flexibility and long-term user friendliness.
Commenting on the success of the Australian tour, Cedric Bessette, Director Civil Helicopters, Airbus Group Australia Pacific, said: “We have always known that there is strong local market potential for the H145 and that has been enhanced by the helicopter’s presence in-country. The H145’s outstanding capabilities are the latest word in rotary-wing flexibility and innovation, well suited to multi-mission roles in an operationally challenging theatre like Australia, including emergency medical services, police duties, aerial work and business and private passenger transport. As a result of this demonstration tour, our prospects for future sales are very exciting.”
The H145 is the latest and most modern version of the BK117/EC145 family and a militarised version is being selected by a number of countries as a military “Light Utility Helicopter”, or “LUH”. Christian Fanchini, Military Missions Specialist, Airbus Helicopters, participated in the tour providing presentations to the Australian Defence Force. Fanchini notes that “the H145 militarised version, called the H145M, has proven potential for a wide range of utility and special forces missions for military customers. The H145M is an enhanced version of the UH-72A Lakota of which more than 300 have already been delivered to the United States armed forces.”
The H145 series incorporates new Arriel 2E engines, a ground-breaking new digital avionics suite, and a 4-axis autopilot. Offering class-leading performance, flight safety, enhanced human-machine interface, maintainability and lower operating costs, the aircraft was certified in 2014 as the latest member of Airbus Helicopters’ 4-tonne, twin-engine product range. With more than 170 orders, the new H145 is winning over customers and becoming the best-selling, modern helicopter in its class.
Airbus Group Australia Pacific is a part of Airbus Group, a global pioneer in aerospace and defence related services whose companies include Airbus, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space.
Wholly owned by Airbus Helicopters, Airbus Group Australia Pacific represents Airbus Group in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific and is the region’s largest helicopter manufacturer, employing more than 1700 people across 20 sites in Australia and New Zealand. With the largest market share in civilian and military helicopters, the company supports more than 500 Airbus Helicopters and is well recognised as a leading Through-Life-Support provider in military fixed wing and helicopter platforms.
Airbus Helicopters is a division of Airbus Group. The company provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions to its customers who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in highly demanding environments. Flying more than 3 million flight hours per year, the company’s in-service fleet includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 152 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and in 2014 generated revenues of 6.5 billion Euros. In line with the company’s new identity, fully integrated into Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters has renamed its product range replacing the former “EC” designation with an “H”.